...and in January

...and in January we should receive for the bookworld:

10th The Oscar nominations are announced unusually early this year. Keep an eye out for a bumper crop of literary adaptations, including David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, Yann Martel's Life of Pi, the David Nicholls-scripted Great Expectations, as well as Les Miserables, Anna Karenina and The Hobbit.

18th A new stage adaptation of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw at the Almeida theatre in London. In the year of the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth, his musical version will also feature around the country in both concert and stage performances.

24th The finalists for the fifth Man Booker International prize will be announced at the Jaipur festival. Philip Roth's victory last time was preceded by a resignation from the judging panel and followed by much recrimination. Will this year's jury chaired by Christopher Ricks and comprising Elif Batuman, Aminatta Forna, Yiyun Li and Tim Parks be more collegiate?

28th The 200th anniversary of publication of Pride and Prejudice in 1813. It is a truth universally acknowledged that such an anniversary will be accompanied by re-issues, mash-ups, adaptations and many, many tributes.

29th The announcement of the winner of the overall Costa award will this year be accompanied by the crowning of the first winner of the new short story prize.


Pow! by Mo Yan (Seagull Books). The first new novel in English from the Chinese author awarded the 2012 Nobel literature prize for his "hallucinatory realism" is a riotous carnival of food, sex and death in rural China.

Tenth of December by George Saunders (Bloomsbury). A welcome return for the master of the surreal short story. Disturbing drug trials; a morale-boosting memo to a bizarre workforce; a very strange garden decoration … In this new collection Saunders uses comic bureaucracy to hint at atrocity, and spins poignant parables out of his characters' hesitation and inarticulacy.

Wool by Hugh Howey (Century). Will SF be the new Fifty Shades? Howey's post-apocalyptic dystopia, in which the remnants of humanity have built a claustrophobic civilisation in underground silos, took off online after being self-published as a serial in 2011. Film rights have been snapped up by Ridley Scott.

How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti (Harvill Secker). A beguiling "novel from life" about creativity and authenticity that's been taking the States by storm. Mixing real conversations and emails with bedroom confessionals, self-help mantras and doses of pure fiction, this portrait of Toronto playwright "Sheila" and her artist friends has been characterised as "Girls in book form".


The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond (Allen Lane). Diamond's mega-bestselling Guns, Germs and Steel made it so far into the cultural mainstream that Mitt Romney quoted it during his election campaign. Not surprisingly he got it all wrong, and Diamond told him so. In this book, the popular science writer considers what we can learn from "traditional" societies in areas such as child-rearing, the treatment of the elderly and diet.

Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible by Alan Rusbridger (Cape). In 2011 Rusbridger, the editor in chief of Guardian newspapers and a keen amateur pianist, set himself the tough challenge of learning to play Chopin's Ballade No 1 – this during a hectic year that featured the Arab Spring, the English riots and the Guardian breaking two major stories: Wikileaks and the News of the World hacking scandal.


Quick Question by John Ashbery (Carcanet). This might be his 25th collection, but a new Ashbery still remains an event. It will be followed in August by new selections of his translations of other writers' poetry and prose.

Newspaper Taxis: Poetry After the Beatles (Seren). Beatles 50th anniversaries will come thick and fast until the end of the decade. This anthology of poetic responses to the songs features work by Simon Armitage, Carol Ann Duffy, Philip Larkin, Roger McGough and many more.

February will follow January...